Construction of the new $45 million Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies (IMAS) development on Hobart’s waterfront is set to proceed, with the demolition of the Princes Wharf No. 2 Shed (PW2) expected to be completed next month.


IMAS officially started as an Institute on 1 January 2010 and is responsible for the joint Sustainable Marine Research Collaboration Agreement between the State Government and the University of Tasmania to support the development and sustainable management of our living marine resources.


The IMAS building project is a $45 million initiative of the Australian Government, being conducted as part of the Nation-building Economic Stimulus Plan. IMAS is currently housed at the University’s Sandy Bay and Taroona campuses.


The Premier, Lara Giddings, said the location of IMAS next to the CSIRO will allow for greater research collaboration and will further strengthen our important international role in marine and Antarctic science and research. She said the IMAS building project heralded an exciting period of investment in Sullivans Cove.


“Along with Tasport’s recent announcement regarding the expression of interest process for the redevelopment of Macquarie Wharf No. 1 Shed, we are seeing substantial investment in the Cove and its role as a central hub of Hobart.


“Another exciting redevelopment is the conversion of Macquarie Wharf No. 2 Shed to support the Australian Antarctic Division and the French Antarctic program, as well as a new international cruise ship terminal and the recent redevelopment of Princes Wharf Number 1 Shed.”


The Vice-Chancellor of the University of Tasmania, Professor Peter Rathjen, said it was very fitting for IMAS, which aspires to be a leading global institution for temperate marine, Southern Ocean and Antarctic research, to be located in such an iconic new building on the waterfront.


“The aim is to bring together much of Tasmania’s considerable strengths in marine and Antarctic studies in one precinct,” Professor Rathjen said.


“It gives a physical form to the synergy with our research colleagues at CSIRO, located adjacent on Castray Esplanade, as well as with the Australian Antarctic Division, and an important positioning with international marine and Antarctic research activity in and out of Hobart’s port.”


Construction is expected to take about 18 months, with an anticipated completion date in mid-2013. The building will provide teaching and research facilities for around 290 staff and students.